Especially during the winter months, a list of fun indoor activities can be a lifesaver to any homeschool!
Here’s a handy guide of free or low-cost ways to keep your young children occupied at home (or else in a safe indoor place outside your house):
You can use Playmobil, wooden or electric sets to keep your kids occupied with an ongoing building project. As one mom wrote, “Great to be able to add one new piece to it and renew the enthusiasm for it!”
You don’t need to end just with the train set. You can build stops along the train route using Legos, animals and even matchbox cars!
From jumping games to indoor obstacle courses, a wealth of suggestions on Pinterest can help you encourage fine motor skills, scientific reasoning and other “edutainment” right in the comfort of your own home.
Here’s a sample pin from Hands on as we Grow to get you started.
Odds and ends.
Everyday household items can be just as good as (or better than) expensive toys. Here’s a list of things around the house that homeschool moms have found helpful in entertaining little ones:
- A roll of aluminum foil
- Empty toilet paper tubes
- Caps from various containers
- PVC pipes, nuts and bolts, and other fittings
- Springs, pulleys, hooks, twine, levers, etc. (Make sure these are safe depending on your child’s age and maturity.)
With these items, your child can craft robots, marble runs, and even a makeshift toolbox.
Does your child have a natural mechanical bent? Grab a used alarm clock or typewriter from your local thrift store and let your child pull it apart and “repair” it, all the time learning how things work.
All hail the handyman!
Building on the last point, indoor activities can be a great introduction to building and carpentry skills.
One enterprising mama bought her son a kid-sized hammer and safety glasses, then let him hammer as many nails as he liked into a tree trunk. It kept him entertained for hours!
If you don’t have a piece of tree trunk handy, a wooden step-stool or crate can work just as well.
Sometimes you just need a break from the books. Get your children working with time-tested favorites such as:
- Snap circuits
- Legos or duplo blocks
- Baking, cooking, or another edible project in the kitchen
Bonus tip: Have you ever heard of a Rube Goldberg machine? If not, learn more and make one as a family!
This article was originally posted in December 2014. It has been revised and updated for a more comprehensive list.
Do you have a favorite indoor activity that didn’t make our list? Let us know in the comments.